1955 Jaguar XK-D D-Type
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This car has Serial No. XKD507 and is powered by the 3442 cc (210 cubic-inch) six-cylinder in-line engine wîth double overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder, three dual-throat Weber carburetors, developing 270 horsepower at 6000 rpm. This car carried Jaguar honors to the Ú.S. when purchased by Briggs Cunningham. An ailing engine had curtailed its race at LeMans in 1955. After delivery to New York and Alfred Momo's care, the car enjoyed a splendid season. Sherwood Johnston driving to victory in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix and the Eisenhower Trophy at Hagerstown, Maryland. Briggs Cunningham became the new Jaguar distributor for the Northeast and consequently fielded a full team in competition. With Walt Hansgen driving, the D-Type won SCCA C-Modified Championships in 1956 and 1957. The D's highest speed ever - 185 mph at Bonneville - was also recorded in the Ú.S.
Prior to the 1955 Jaguar D-Type's victory at Lime Rock in 1957, the car had already experienced a successful run wîth Sherman Johnston at the helm in 1955, winning at Watkins Glen and Hagerstown, Maryland, among other venues. This would give Johnston the 1955 SCCA National Championship. The Briggs-Cunningham racing team purchased the car in 1956, and the D-Type would once again wîth the SCCA Championship in 1956 and 1957.
The partnership wîth Briggs-Cunningham would bring Jaguar to prominence in the Únited States, as the Briggs-Cunningham team would field a full fleet of Jaguars in competition. Sadly, fire at the Coventry factory destroyed five D-types in February 1957, and this would mark the end of production of the car.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2009Source - Historical notes courtesy of The Collier Collection
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